Wednesday, February 6, 2019

My Review of the Brexit Movie

HBO has a new movie available called "Brexit". The movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch, which is why I decided to watch it. I didn't know anything about the movie except that it was staring Cumberbatch. Instead of watching Trump's state of the Union, I chose to watch "Brexit".

The movie was challenging to understand at first. It assumes you know the characters and what the movie is about, so if you are not a Brit, you may find it confusing, like I did. They also used a technique of plastering the words  "LEAVE" or "STAY" over each newly introduced character's face. This was annoying, especially since the storyline of what leaving or staying meant was still not clear.

In fact, it was not until Cambridge Analytica was introduced in the film that the storyline became clear. "Ahhh, this story is about manipulating people to get them to vote a certain way and exit the European Union!" Then things started to fall in line. It was after I had this awareness I started to feel ill and thought, "HOLY SHIT! This is the same story of how Donald Trump got elected!"

This movie is about really about how one side of the debated used micro-targeting to manipulate people's way of thinking to better manipulate their behavior by creating the emotions of fear and anger to force them to act to the end purpose they wanted.  The goal was to get people to vote to leave the European Union, and they achieved their goal. But they also created some side effects - a country divided, filled with anger, hate, and distrust.

Then, in the very final screenshot of the movie, we learn the people behind Cambridge Analytica are the same people who used these same techniques to manipulate Americans to get Donald Trump elected - a Republican millionaire by the name of Robert Mercer, his daughter Rebekah Mercer, and Steve Bannon, from the Trump campaign!

For me, the movie ended up being more of a horror show than a documentary. It will have a lasting impact on me, knowing how fragile a society can be and how easy it can be manipulated and destroyed with false information.